Caroline responds to Mayor’s cannabis diversion trials

Following reports in the Telegraph that the Mayor plans to decriminalise drugs [1] and clarifications from the Mayor’s press office that this refers to a diversion trial in development [2], Caroline Russell says:

“Trials to effectively decriminalise cannabis in some London boroughs would be a step in the right direction.

“It makes sense to trial diverting people to public health services if they are stopped with small quantities of cannabis for personal use, rather than bringing them into the criminal justice system. Decriminalisation is unlikely to increase drug use, while criminalisation certainly does not reduce it.

“The Mayor announced a Drugs Commission back in April 2021, saying he would bring together experts and leading figures from criminal justice and public health.

“So far, we haven’t even seen any terms of reference for the Commission. The Mayor needs to end the delay so the Assembly has a chance to scrutinise his approach to reducing drug harm in London.”

[1] Exclusive: Sadiq Khan to begin decriminalising drugs in London:

[2] Clarification from Mayor’s press office: “This limited trial is still in development & simply means that 18-24 year olds found with small amounts of cannabis would be diverted to receive help which is shown to reduce offending. This is a model used by other forces around the country & would not apply to any other drug.”:

London Assembly Health Committee Monday 18 October 2021 – Reducing Drug Deaths in London transcript page 29 Professor Alex Stevens:

Sadiq Khan proposed a London Drug Commission in his 2021 manifesto: